I’ll admit it: things have been quiet because it’s difficult to find new and creative ways to say, “I’m still working on Between the Lion and the Wolf (BLW).” I mean, it’s true, I am still working on BLW, but how exciting is it to read the above? Repeatedly? Here’s how I’d answer that question: It’s not.
What I am excited about, however, is watching these various threads sewn into Beneath the Vault of Stars come together. Some, not all: others I intend to resolve in Book III. That’s one of the reasons things have been quiet over here: gotta be careful not to tie the wrong things together, if you’ll forgive the overextended metaphor!
One question people wonder about my process1 is whether I have a strict outline or whether I’m just winging it. The answer is yes. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I keep a loose collection of story points (some major, some minor) that I need to touch along the way: when reaching out for those points, however, I employ a more liquid methodology. Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I’ll re-read chunks from that outline document. Often that’s enough to pry loose the gunk preventing my mental wheels’ movement. Other times, it’s not, and so I’ll turn my attention to other, unrelated things (like home improvement projects or arcade emulation).
Because I haven’t finished BLW, I can’t explain in detail what’s been going on and what makes writing it so delicate, but I can see a clearer path toward Chapter XX today, having finished Chapter XIII yesterday! Not too long ago, I had trouble carving my way through Chapter VII. Chapter XIII—not quite 9,000 words—proved similarly difficult to find the words for. Hence things being somewhat quiet over here! The following might not come across as exciting without twelve chapters’ worth of context, but check this out:
And then I watched while everything fell apart. Before I could breathe again, thousands of years had come and gone, and I saw shadows rise up and eat the light. I remember feeling helpless. Hopeless. Darkness was everywhere.Excerpted from Between the Lion and the Wolf, Chapter XIII.6.
I’ve got a few more things to hit before moving things toward BLW’s denouement. I’ve drawn the broad strokes, and I’m feeling primed to paint in some detail. (Why am I using painting metaphors in a blog about writing?!) Anyway, I hope I can make time to hammer out the next six chapters soon. Introduce some noise into this uneasy quiet! Back to work!